What is PiE?

PiE is a platform for arts practitioners, curators, writers and producers to meet and build dynamic relationships, to collaborate and foster meaningful connections between the work made and local communities.

  • P in PiE stands for Performance but also for Play, Participation, Practice, People. Or anything else that springs to mind. We see Performance as a very broad term. We want to keep it open. We celebrate diversity and breadth of perspectives by continually asking what it means.
  • PiE is what you, I and everyone else makes it. It's organic. It focuses on artistic practice and need, whilst being interactive, participatory, and member-led. Pursuing your personal interest, you will engage in joint activities and discussions, member-curated programmes, and sharing of ideas, thoughts, issues, methodologies, skills, recipes, instructions. What have you got?
  • PiE is interdisciplinary . We are open to everyone who is curious about what performance means to them in their practice, which might be music, live art, urban tactics, theatre, participatory and social practice, visual art, film, outdoor performance, circus, dance, writing, graphic art, performance poetry, scenography, short forms, cabaret, digital systems, games, immersive events, festivals, site responsive and site specific interventions, placemaking … Anything else missing?
  • PiE is a living and evolving organism, a community of practice that embeds meaning of ‘community’ in its fabric. In PiE, we build relationships that enable us to learn from each other. We care about our standing with each other. We develop a shared repertoire of resources: experiences, stories, specialist skills, tools, ways of addressing recurring problems—in short, a shared practice.
  • Another P in PiE is Patience. This rewarding process takes time, sustained interaction, and kindness.

Who runs PiE?

Did we say it is member-led? Yes, it is! PiE is run by the likes of you, by people to whom artistic practice matters most, who love working in dynamic diverse environments, and who love to collaborate. PiE’s horizontal governing board of directors will consist of elected members who serve for 18-24 months. Chair of the board title will be rotated on a monthly basis. Horizontal replaces hierarchical leadership with collaboration, coordination, shared responsibility for decisions and outcomes, and a willingness to work through consensus. More about it in the PiE Directors Information Sheet on our documents page. A range of working groups will provide members with an opportunity to get involved and be a part of shaping the development and up-keep of the network. More about it in the PiE Working Group Information Sheet on our documents page.

What are PiE's aims?

Our aims are simple: Connect - Grow - Amplify We will do this by:

  • Bringing diverse artists, producers, writers, & other performance workers together - to meet & become aware of each others’ work, to access opportunities and to create opportunities together.
  • Serving as a welcoming first point of contact for creative newcomers, those returning to practice and recent graduates - providing personal one-on-one conversations to get to know each other, sharing insider knowledge of the local creative scene and making first introductions.
  • Supporting the development of PiE members’ practice- giving members the opportunity to try out and test ideas in a supportive environment, supporting cross-disciplinary exchanges of practice, encouraging collaborative projects, facilitating critical dialogue & feedback. This support will build members’ confidence and expand their professional networks.
  • Gathering in-kind resources & financial support for PiE members’ activities​ - developing new local partnerships, strengthening existing ones, making project proposals & helping with identifying and securing funding.
  • Developing PiE members’ skills, experience & knowledge - through a range of activities including skills development workshops, peer-led mentorship programmes, panel discussions, practice exchanges, working group collaborations, and notification of external opportunities.
  • Increasing visibility of artists, producers, writers, performance workers based in Devon and the South West - by promoting PiE members’ work & projects, providing a key contact point for Exeter’s performance-based community.

What will PIE membership offer?

Programming is designed by members for members, and materialised through a successful application for ACE funding put together by its directors. Here is what we imagine so far - PiE will host a series of live and online events for its members, including:

  • skills sharing sessions,
  • pop-up performances,
  • play and make days,
  • talks,
  • training,
  • peer funded micro-commissions.
PiE members will have access to regular meet up opportunities, artist development and mentorship schemes, classes, ‘away days’, ‘go & see bursaries’, listings on the PiE website, members-only content (videos of all PiE talks and resources from PiE Masterclasses, meeting and financial reports, feedback, etc), special rehearsal space offers, reading and viewing clubs, residencies and co-working opportunities, funding support, a range of online resources, artist features, blogs, news and updates.

How much will it cost?

The network membership fee will be determined by you, the members. To apply for project funding at ACE, we will need to demonstrate a 10% match fund, which shall include membership fees as a basis. We estimate the fees to be in the range of £5 a month.

What is PiE's story?

As part of its ACE Emergency Funding, Maketank embarked on an initiative to facilitate a new performance network in Exeter. A common thread in many conversations they had with people in 2017-2020 was the need for a more joined up platform in Exeter to connect. So, in the summer, Maketank conducted a survey to find out more. The survey was very successful and provided a wealth of information (check out our documents section to read suevey results). It was also used for Re-framing The Performance Landscape report produced for Liveable Exeter. Maketank asked if people wanted a network (resounding ‘yes’), what they would want from it and what it might look like. An insight into how various arts and culture organisations work in the city, how the needs of the wider community are being met and where the gaps exist, was also gained. As a result Maketank, a member of Co-Creating Change Network, has created PiE Assembly monthly gathering to ‘co-create’ this network with arts practitioners and to foster an organic ‘buy in’ from artists to form this network ground up.

What are PiEs's values?

We cultivate, practice and deepen our values around 5 Cs: curiosity, connection, compassion, creativity, can-do spirit.

  • Curiosity - for us it means deferring judgement, being open, asking questions, being willing to be surprised, to learn.
  • Connection - it means valuing human relationships above status, class, gender, race by being inclusive, being generous, cultivating ability to handle differences of opinions, seeing conflict as a door to our higher selves.
  • Compassion - being kind and patient with ourselves, with each other, and with the environment.
  • Creativity - performance is a creative act, but our ability to practice it can be impacted by administrative and funding burdens, but we remind ourselves that this is where creativity is particularly handy. How can we approach all aspects of our practice creatively?
  • Can-do spirit - attitude is key in fostering a momentum, in forging change, in making things happen. We value support, initiative, engagement in all aspects of PiE.

What are PiE's principles of conduct?

Here at PiE, our motto is TAKE ACTION. After all, change isn’t just possible: it’s what we’re here to do. And at the heart of all of our actions is people. Community. Community of practice and seeing audiences as members of community. With connection comes the power to learn from one another and move forward together as we commit to progress, not perfection. At PiE, we encourage an inclusive and safe space where we dare to try, where we risk, fail and risk again. This landscape of possibility and exploration is a great place to be. Let’s take good care. PiE Rules:

  1. In PiE we practice kindness and compassion. We're all in this together to create a welcoming environment. We treat everyone with respect. Healthy debates are natural, but kindness is required. We are aware of non-verbal communication. Each of us speaks from our own experience and use “I” statements, as in “I think”, “I feel”, “I believe”, or “I want”.
  2. We practice the art of asking and giving support. We all contribute to the vibrancy of this network. Own the energy we bring to space by contributing, asking, sharing and giving support. Before speaking, we think about what we want others to know. How can they best hear us?
  3. We all contribute in making this a safe space. This is a safe space for sharing and asking for support. Bullying and degrading comments on race, religion, culture, sexual orientation, gender or identity are not tolerated.
  4. We make sure that the conversations are pertinent. Think of PiE forum and meetups as a dinner party, what kinds of conversations are relevant?
  5. We value confidentiality and respect for privacy. Being part of PiE requires mutual trust. Authentic, expressive discussions make groups great, but may also be sensitive and private. We avoid gossip and backstage talk. If conflict arises, we solve it through a conversation. If necessary we engage a community mediator to give a relationship a chance to to be repaired.
  6. We keep in mind that people are in different stages in their practice. In order for us to grow, people need to be able to share thoughts and experiences in a way that’s comfortable and relevant for them. We practice consideration, respect and patience.

What are PiE's maxims?

PiE Maxims: Listen Actively Laugh often (with others) Value everyone’s thoughts and input Leave space for happy accidents Value time Yes, and… Change isn't just possible, it's what we are here to do Pick up the slack Equality for all Hold on tightly let go lightly Life is short. Choose battles wisely. Assume good intentions. Everyone does the best they can. Mistakes are part of success. Disagree respectfully. Thrive off challenge Risk, fail, risk again If you don't have a plan B, you don't have a plan A